Monday, April 30, 2018

Where do I begin?

(written on March 28th 2018)

For someone with so many words...words that just tumble out even when they are not wanted...words that jump helter-skelter over each other at all occasions...I'm amazed at my lack of words at this moment.  My husband urged me to write something on Facebook, but I could not. I decided I would come in here and post something on this blog.

On Saturday night (March 24th 2018) I received a phone call from my nephew informing me of my eldest brother, Rick Seaward's tragic death. He had been down in Brazil preaching at a Conference when he met with an accident. When the news came, I had to inform my parents their eldest son had preceded them in death. I called my eldest sister to also give her the news. My family is strewn all over the globe, so all notifications were done via Facetime or Whatsapp video or phone calls. This is the modern era- so far away and yet connected via technology. I'm thankful for the ease of communication at a time like this.

The moment the public announcement was made in Singapore many comments, memories, tributes flooded social media on all platforms. ( In Memory of Rick Seaward FB page ) In reading the comments and the well wishes, I know he was more than just my brother. He meant so much to so many people all over the world. From capitals in the world to small villages. There could be books written about him and his exploits. But for now, I will just attempt to remember him as he was to me, my big brother.

I have memories of wonderful adventures. He encouraged me to ride an adult bicycle when I was just 7 years old- by putting my legs through the middle of the open frame so that both my feet could pedal the bicycle at a slant. Just picture this wee 7 year old- legs straddled through this huge adult bicycle- peddling at full force as she races down the back streets of Singapore. Every time I would yell ahead to him, "I don't think I can keep going"-- He would yell back, "You can do it!!" It seems like that was always our conversation throughout my life-- Him encouraging me to move into realms I thought would be impossible-- me thinking and saying "I don't think I can" -- Him reassuring me that I could...and lo and behold...I not only COULD...I did!! 

He was a great organizer even when he was younger. There was the time he organized the entire neighborhood to come for his variety show. Even the adults crowded in our next door neighbor's garage to watch the show. It was standing room only. Yes, even in those days he could fill a room!

When the Sunday school did a competition to see who could bring the most children. He won hands down with streams of children following him each Sunday. He strategized and targeted the local elementary schools. He couldn't have been more than 12 years old. I would have to check to find out exactly how many children he ended up bringing to Sunday school. It seems like it was over 50, but my memory escapes me.

As far as pranks- he was the King of pranks.  He and my two sisters would play pranks and they let us younger siblings join in the fun. The pranks were well orchestrated playing on the suspicions of the "pointianak" - a female zombie who was reported to come out of banana trees at night. My eldest sister would dress in a long white gown and she already had the long hair. Late at night, we hid behind the banana trees. When a motorcyclist,  or bicyclist raced down the dark road my sister would emerge from the banana grove. Invariably the person in question would scream and rush off in panic. Sometimes even dropping their mode of transport to run away. All of us would laugh with glee. I believe Rick came up with all the pranks. There were so many more.

He wasn't always playful, he knew how to be serious and caring when the need arose. When I was in the States for University, he visited me on one of his trips from Singapore and there was a Father-Daughter banquet at the school. He told me that he was going to go with me since my dad was all the way in Singapore. I was very grateful. Shortly after that, my studies seemed too overwhelming. I was attempting to finish a four year course in 2 and a half years. I told him I was planning on dropping out. He sat with me and mapped out my options. He showed me the pros and cons of my decision. Rick then said, "It's not my decision, but I would strongly advise you to not give up."  I was forever grateful for his wise advice, which I did listen to.

The majority of my life we have not lived on the same continent. I was 6 years younger than him. He left home for University at 14 years old - I was only 8. By the time he returned to Singapore, I was away at school in Penang and then on to the States for University. Somehow, even though we lived so far apart, God made it possible that he helped me in some major decisions in my life. He helped keep me from making major mistakes. One time specifically, I was about to make a life-changing decision and he said to me, "Connie, you've made one huge mistake, don't compound it by making another mistake." How grateful I was that he gave me that advice!

I thank God that I have a hope that this is not the end for my brother. He has moved on and He is now rejoicing. For this, I am so thankful! Of course, with any farewell- even if it is for a short time, our hearts feel a loss. My loss here on earth is his gain.  He has won his race. He has gotten his prize. Now I know he joins those who are talked about in Hebrews 12: 1-3, "For now since so great a crowd of witnesses surround us let us run this race..." He is part of those witnesses as I continue to run this race. He is cheering me and so many others on. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

With a little help from your friends

I am very thankful for those who have been willing to come along side me in this new venture of publishing. Some are people who don't know the ropes themselves, but they are happy to be a support. Others I have sought out, are seasoned Publishers. What a delight that although they didn't know me before, they have taken the time to give me much needed guidance.

One such person is Suzanne Hartman who is a co-founder of castle gate press.  She took the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and to offer advice. Suzanne recapped a bit of her experience in starting a publishing company and it helped me to see that I am not alone in many of the things I have experienced thus far. 

On another note- the book is finally on Amazon. Go to Amazon and look for Run Your Race by Crystal Krachunis and you will now be able to order it from there. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Coming up for air

Is it really January? No, its not just January, it is the end of January. Where did November and December go? They were some kind of a blur. I vaguely remember book launches, multiple visits to the post office, family dinners, celebrations, etc etc. 

My sister came to visit me from the Himalayan region. I hadn't seen her in a few years. The visit was unexpected and it landed just about the time I was doing the book launch! Can we say, "Master Juggler of Time"?   

The book launch was amazing!  May I give a shout out to Mia Baerg - this is a young lady who is going to shake the world. There are some people you meet and you just know they are going to make a slighter bigger mark on this world than someone else. Mia is just that type of person. She agreed to help with the sales at the book launch and she helped to keep things running smoothly when we were converged upon by the masses.  

My husband stepped in to help with the sales as well. I thought everything was very organized. We had a line for people paying with checks, cash and credit/debit cards. How much more organized can you get than that? Well, no matter how prepared you are and how organized you are, there will always be the person who wants to stand in the wrong line. We were busy learning as we went.

Faith and Victory Church did a magnificent job putting the whole launch together. Balloons bobbed around, black table clothes gave an elegant look to the evening. Crystal Krachunis, the author of Run Your Race, made a wonderful speech prior to the books being sold. All in all, it was a fabulous evening. 

In our bright eyed and bushy tailed mindset, we saw every single book flying off the sales table. We saw ourselves driving home with empty boxes and immediately putting in a new order for books to be printed. The reality of the evening was many books were sold. We still had to bring home boxes which contained many more books. At the end of the day, the evening was a success. 

The books have continued to be sold online at the website. The original surge of books sales has slowed down to a dribble. I finally broke down and registered the book on Amazon- (do you remember my battle cry indicating we weren't going to go down that route?) Ah, yes, even the mighty have fallen. Well, apparently it is not as easy as just saying, "Hey I want to sell my book on Amazon"-- they made me fill out forms and send in my driver's license and business license. And then I expected a "Okay you are all set"-- no, I got a message that informed me I would probably hear back from them by the 27th-- that is today- so I'm keeping my eyes open. 

I know Amazon will not be the lifesaver for keeping sales up. This is where marketing comes in. I'm picking other people's brains. I'm writing to other publishers, business owners and start ups asking them how they do it. What tools do they use. My personal banker- you remember her, right?Anita Trujillo.  She suggested a great idea- she said I should approach some college students to see if they might want to hop on board as interns to do social media marketing. This would benefit me as the publisher and benefit them as they beef up their resumes for the future. 

 I would like to see another book published this year- 2018- but unless I can get this one completely off the ground and into orbit, I will have to wait a bit longer for the next project to be launched. If you have any suggestions which might help me get that dribble back up to the roaring river of sales we previously were enjoying, please feel free to send them my way!  Any and all comments are welcome.

Where do I begin?

(written on March 28th 2018) For someone with so many words...words that just tumble out even when they are not wanted...words that jump h...